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Rio do Janeiro mayor questions Brasilia’s 2016 Olympic Games policy

Thursday, August 22nd 2013 - 00:35 UTC
Full article 4 comments
”Rio will have to look after the legacy of Olympics infrastructure”, said Mayor Paes ”Rio will have to look after the legacy of Olympics infrastructure”, said Mayor Paes

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro has said it is a shame his city will be hosting the Olympic Games in 2016 because Brazil lacks a sports policy. Eduardo Paes said that his city should not pay for high performance athletes.

“That is the role of the federal government,” he said in an interview to be aired on Friday on the television channel ESPN. Mayor Paes said Rio should be promoting sports for everyone.

However, the mayor said the Olympic Games would be good for the city because of the infrastructure that was being built.

“Rio will have to look after the legacy of infrastructure,” he said, “But it's unclear who will run the sports’ centres after the Olympics.”

In the interview with sports journalist Juca Kfouri, Mayor Paes also said it was a “scandal” that top Brazilian sports officials remained in their posts for life.

A year before Brazil hosts the football World Cup, he was also critical of the sport's world governing body FIFA, complaining “they only care about stadiums”.

In June, he told the BBC that Brazil had “lost a great opportunity” to improve public services when it won the right to host the tournament.

“We should have used the opportunity to deliver good services too,” he said, arguing that Brazil should have seized the occasion to invest in healthcare, education and transport.

Millions of people took to the streets of Brazilian cities in June to protest against corruption and the high cost of preparations for the World Cup.

In Rio do Janeiro protest marches have continued to protest against state Governor Sergio Cabral who is accused of corruption and looking aside to actions from a police that is to prone to resort to violence particularly in the poor areas of the city.

Protesters allege Cabral is corrupt and want an investigation into spending on projects linked to next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, which Brazil is hosting.

Both Mayor Paes and Governor Cabral were elected on a PMDB ticket. PMDB is the ruling Workers Party coalition main ally.

Top Comments

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  • LatAmBurgher

    What... on earth... does that sub-headline mean? Government “paying for athletes?” No “sports policy?” A city requires a sports policy? Maybe the translators were just half-asleep...

    And of all people, Eduardo Paes is saying the money should be invested in health and education? He's missing out on a chance to corral enough money together to invest in precisely those things, but here he is throwing toys out of the playpen like a child. At least everyone will be poor, right Vossa Excelência? We can invest what little money's left after each guy gets his cut to nourish the already overused government trough, no? Well, at least the people will accept for a moment that your government isn't exploiting them, right? *eye roll*

    Seriously, these guys in Brasília and the major cities are going to fumble the next two-and-a-half years shamefully if they don't get their act together on these projects... it has taken long enough.

    Aug 22nd, 2013 - 01:29 am 0
  • ChrisR


    And you are surprised?

    Aug 22nd, 2013 - 11:55 am 0
  • LatAmBurgher

    @2 I'm young and naive. Not naive enough to accept the PT/PMDB narrative, but even the blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. As I have personal connections in Brazil, I don't want them to fumble the nut. We'll see...

    Aug 22nd, 2013 - 12:02 pm 0
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